CNLP 221: Max Lucado On How He’s Written Over 120 Books, Why He Never Uses Ghostwriters, How to Stay Fresh in Leadership, And His Favorite Book

Max Lucado has published over 120 books. Yes, you read that right.

In this episode, he talks about how he writes and leads a large ministry, his unusual editing process, how to stay fresh in leadership over the long haul, and he tells the story of how a book he forgot he had to write became his favorite book (and chances are, one of your favorites, too).

Welcome to Episode 221 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

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I’ve got to say, Thank You! Your response to my latest book, Didn’t See It Coming, has been amazing! I love hearing your stories. Please keep them coming! If you haven’t already, you can learn more and get your copy of Didn’t See It Coming here.

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When Work and Family Collide by Andy Stanley

CNLP 170: Esther Fedorkevich on Pro Tips on Getting Your Message Out There, How Anyone Can Get Published and How to Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace

3 Insights from Max Lucado

1. Every leader needs a hobby

There’s a crazy number of leaders, in ministry and in the business world, who do not have a hobby. Most leaders are achievers. We set goals and do what needs to be done to successfully accomplish them. But it’s so important to have an outlet, an activity you love that has no pressure or consequences when things don’t quite go as planned.

Make sure you have a way to unplug and get out of that achievement head space, even for just a short amount of time each week. Find an activity that restores you and brings you joy. Keeping fun in your routine will make you a better leader.

2. Everybody has a story worth writing

Max has written over 120 books and he’s not ready to stop anytime soon. He feels that when it comes to writing, everybody has a book in them. Maybe not 120 books, but at least one. Everyone has a unique story that someone else could benefit from reading. Whether it impacts thousands or just your children, God has done something in your life worth capturing on paper.

3. Succeeding at home first matters

Succeeding at home first is a great mantra for leaders. There’s a reason that the Apostle Paul included managing the household well as a characteristic of good leadership.  At times, it can be much easier for leaders to excel in the office by sacrificing priorities on the home front. But if you’re lacking leadership at home, you’re missing out on what’s most important. That investment brings the best dividends in the long run.

If you’re feeling pressured to spend extra hours in the office and it’s intruding on the time you should be investing in your family, you’ve got to be willing to stand up for yourself and for the ones waiting on you at home. Easier said than done? Absolutely. But it’s worth working through that tension. Guard your time.

Quotes from Episode 221

The secret to writing is rewriting. @MaxLucado Click To Tweet

I say no to a lot of good things, so I can say yes to the more important things. @MaxLucado Click To Tweet

The idea of succeeding at home first is a great mantra for leaders. Succeeding at home first matters. @MaxLucado Click To Tweet

God has done something in your life that is worth capturing on paper. I think everybody's got a story in them. @MaxLucado Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 221

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

Solve the Problems Most Leaders Miss: Didn’t See It Coming Will Help

If you want practical help overcoming a some of the biggest challenges leaders face, my new book Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That Nobody Expects and Everyone Experiences  tackles the seven core issues that take people out: cynicism, compromise, disconnectedness, irrelevance, pride, burnout, and the emptiness of success and provides strategies on how to combat each.

I wrote the book because no 18 year old sets out to be cynical, jaded and disconnected by age 35. Yet it happens all the time.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here’s what top leaders are saying about Didn’t See It Coming:

“Seriously, this may be the most important book you read this year.” Jud Wilhite, Lead Pastor, Central Church

“Powerful, personal, and highly readable. ” Brian Houston, Global Senior Pastor, Hillsong

“Whatever challenge you’re facing, whatever obstacle you’re hoping to overcome, whatever future you dream or imagine, there is something powerful for you here.” Andy Stanley, Founder, North Point Ministries

“Uncommonly perceptive and generous…You have to read this book.” Ann Voskamp, NYT bestselling author

“Masterful.” Reggie Joiner, CEO Orange

“Deep biblical insight, straightforward truth, and practical wisdom to help you grow.” Craig Groeschel, Pastor and NYT bestselling author

“This book is sure to help you.” Daniel H. Pink, NYT bestselling author

Over the years, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about being a public speaker is having opportunities to hang out with Carey…It’s not a matter of if you’ll run into these challenges; it’s a matter of when. Be prepared by spending a little time with a leader who has already been there.” Jon Acuff, NYT best-selling author

“Nieuwhof’s book provides expert guidance…with an accuracy that pierces the heart.” Nancy Duarte, CEO Duarte Inc.

“A refreshingly transparent guide for all leaders in a wide variety of industries.” Bryan Miles, Co-Founder and CEO, BELAY

You can learn more and get your copy of Didn’t See It Coming here.

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Spread the Word. Leave a Rating and Review

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni has written some of the benchmark business books of this generation, and in this conversation, explains how saying no to Steve Jobs moved his life in a whole new direction. He unpacks the keys to motivating young leaders, and why he thinks Millennials are not lazy. He also explains the three essential qualities you should look for to create the ideal team.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 222.

CNLP 221: Max Lucado On How He’s Written Over 120 Books, Why He Never Uses Ghostwriters, How to Stay Fresh in Leadership, And His Favorite Book


  1. Lewis Johnson on January 11, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Amazing post you got here.

  2. Jacob Pannell on October 22, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks for doing this interview with Max Lucado. It was incredibly helpful to hear from someone who has been so successful in a field I am growing into. I am hoping to have my first book published in late November/early December. Hearing the success stories from humble beginnings gives me a vision of what life could look like in 20 or 30 years. I have always found having some sort of vision of success to be incredibly helpful in guiding me to my own successes. Thank you!

  3. Maria on October 17, 2018 at 9:12 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed this interview! Max Lucado is a treasure. I loved how he encouraged you and your interview skills. It was so affirming and genuine. Thank you for sharing this with us all!

  4. clash royale mod apk indir on October 16, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Conflict Royale’s gameplay is easy and straightforward.

  5. Garth Gilliam on October 16, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Powerful Interview with Max Lucado! Thanks Carey!

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